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1. Ilonka Karasz

Ilonka Karasz created this lovely artwork in 1938. We're trying to find out what it was made for. Does anyone know? 





...thanks for sharing your images, Jeff!... 

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2. ‘The Beach Boys’ Singer Mike Love Inks Memoir Deal

Blue-Rider-Logo_200Mike Love, best known as one of the founding members of The Beach Boys, has inked a memoir deal with Blue Rider Press.

James S. Hirsch, a journalist and biographer, will help Love with writing this project. The publisher plans to release the book in the Summer 2016.

Here’s more from The Associated Press: “According to Blue Rider, the 73-year-old Love will discuss his ‘complex’ relationship with Brian Wilson, his cousin and the Beach Boys’ leader during their peak years in the 1960s. Love and Wilson have fought over songwriting credits and creative control of the group.” (via Entertainment Weekly)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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3. Thankfully Reading Day 2

I managed to avoid the turkey coma. I set out to eat until I was full and I did exactly that. No stuffed feeling! We ate dinner with friends and ended up eating in 3 waves, because of all the food! Roasted turkey and sides first, smoked turkey and smoked mac and cheese second, and dessert third, including this ridiculous Mile-High Apple Pie topped with caramel and pecans. Yes.


That was easily the best apple pie I have ever consumed. My friend said it was a Paula Deen recipe, so if you're interested in recreating that amazing deliciousness, I'm sure you could Google it!

On the reading side of things, I managed to get quite a bit done yesterday! We didn't head to our friend's home until 4:30, so all morning and E's nap time were spent occasionally fitting in 10 or so pages and when we got home and the little one was off to bed, I sat for a couple hours and sped through The Book of Strange New Things. Almost done with that one and it's 500 pages! Hoping to finish that and maybe 2 more of the course of this long weekend. 


For today's update, Jenn asked us to answer the question "what book are we most thankful for this year?" I didn't even have to think about my answer, as it's the one book that brought back my love of reading this fall. The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. 

I had too much on my plate, signing up for event after event and though most of these things were fun and I had a great time while I was out, it definitely took away my reading time and often left me exhausted. I didn't have time to read, because I wasn't ever home and when I was home, I just wanted to sleep. The Best Yes spoke truth into my life and made me realize that I was craving the ability to slow down and return to the quieter life I loved... and how to be ok with saying no. 

I have started slowly taking myself out of obligations that were making me exhausted and that I felt like I absolutely had to do and sticking with the things I truly love. My dinner club and book club are sticking around, but the second book club and my Bunco group had to go. I've taken leave from the bookstore, so I'm no longer working on weekends, and amazingly my reading numbers have gone up and I'm just happier. So, thank you Lysa Terkeurst, you changed my year. 

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4. Grant Orchard’s New TV Series ‘Hey Duggee’ Has a Teaser

Studio AKA has posted a first look at its ridiculously appealing new preschool series "Hey Duggee" created by "A Morning Stroll" director Grant Orchard.

0 Comments on Grant Orchard’s New TV Series ‘Hey Duggee’ Has a Teaser as of 11/28/2014 2:38:00 PM
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5. Can I submit with a working title?

Question Pretty much what it sounds like... I'm in the middle of drafting a submission to an agent and realised that I'm not sure if the title I've chosen

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6. An Excellent History of Graphics in Videogames

"Pixel Pioneers: A Brief History of Graphics" is a 5-part documentary by Stuart Brown about the evolution of graphics in videogames.

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7. Walk in the Woods Wednesday

We're still not celebrating Black Friday here at Harts Pass, but in honor of the day we'll offer up this retro strip from November 2012. Definitely looking forward to Walk in the Woods Wednesday!

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8. Being Professional

What writing mistakes will signal to an agent or editor you're not professional? 

http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/2014/09/top-7-mistakes-that-make-your-writing.html

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9. Just be happy, that's all I want for you


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10. Connections/ How to Make them in a Story


The connections between characters and plot situation and setting and their relationship to internal and external conflict is what drives a novel forward. I struggle with this all the time. I think this simple way (Use THEREFORE, BUT and not AND THEN) of looking at the relationship between what happens in a story is helpful.

Check out this very short video (about two minutes) by the creators of South Park—their # 1 Rule.

They say that what you’re doing is trying to link what happens in a story by either a “THERFORE” or a “BUT”; what you should avoid is the “AND THEN” because this will just lead to a sequence of unrelated events etc. I think this is a simple way to remember one of those larger guiding principles of propelling your story forward.
THIS HAPPENS Therefore THIS HAPPENS
But
THIS HAPPENS so (therefore) THIS HAPPENS

For example

Boy steals a car/Boy gets caught by police/Boy calls parents to come and get him out/ BUT parents won’t because they decide it will teach him a lesson/therefore-when he’s in jail he gets beat up so badly he gets put in the hospital/ therefore…. And on it and on.


Also giving away another ARC of Utopia, Iowa, at Goodreads—I’m down to one.

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11. Universal Pictures Options 2 Gayle Forman YA Books

Just One DayUniversal Pictures has optioned two of Gayle Forman’s young adult novels, Just One Day and Just One Year.

Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the creators of The Gossip Girl TV show, will serve as producers for this project. Penguin Young Readers Group released the first book in January 2013 and the second book followed in October 2013.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Just One Day and Just One Year follows the story of a young couple who meet and share one incredible day (and night) together only to be separated, spending the next year looking for each other and finding themselves along the journey…The books have been described as being in the tone of Before Sunrise and 500 Days of Summer.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. Festival Call for Entries: Northwest Animation Fest, Future Film Festival, Fest Anca

Our new Animation Festival Guide is a hand-picked list of calls for entries from respected festivals around the globe. This week, we add three new calls for entries from Portland, Oregon; Bologna, Italy; and Žilina, Slovakia.

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13. P.D. James Has Died

P.D. JamesP. D. James (full name Phyllis Dorothy James White) has died. She was 94-years-old.

James (pictured, via) became well-known for her crime novels. Throughout her career, she wrote and published almost two dozen books.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Many critics and many of her peers have said that by virtue of the complexity of her plots, the psychological density of her characters and the moral context in which she viewed criminal violence, Ms. James even surpassed her classic models and elevated the literary status of the modern detective novel. She is often cited, in particular, for the cerebral depth and emotional sensibilities of Adam Dalgliesh, the introspective Scotland Yard detective and published poet who functions as the hero of virtually all of her novels.” (via BuzzFeed)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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14. Overheard

(down the hall, top of the lungs) “I’m going to go see Mom!”

(thundering footsteps drawing nearer)

(cheerful bellow) “MOMMOMMOMMOMMOM!”

(in the doorway, casual everyday voice) “Hi, Mommy! Did I surprise you?”

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15. A 24-Hour Bookshore Thrives in Asia

esliteThe Eslite, a 24-hour bookshop based in Asia, “has more night owl visitors than most Western bookstores could dream of during their daytime hours.”

The Eslite Group has designed its stores to cater not only to bibliophiles, but also to people who appreciate fashion, home styling, and restaurants. The company owns 42 stores in Taiwan and 1 store in Hong Kong; the executives plan to open new locations in China.

According to CNN, the organization “reported revenue of around $425 million in 2013, with books accounting for some 40 percent of sales, according to company spokesman Timothy Wang. Sales are expected to increase by almost eight percent this year.” What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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16. Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser

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17. Chapter

Question: Is there a set amount of words needed in a chapter of a book? Answer: No. The length of chapters can vary both within a book and according to

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18. NaNoWriMo Tip #19: Keep The Reader’s Perspective in Mind

Some writers feel that they must create the story that they themselves want to read. Does that mean you should disregard your potential audience?

In the video embedded above, The Fault in Our Stars novelist John Green advises that one should remember the reader’s perspective while writing. By putting yourself in the reader’s shoes, you will be able to figure out what are the most interesting parts about your story.

This is our nineteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. To help GalleyCat readers take on the challenge of writing a draft for a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, we will be offering advice throughout the entire month.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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19.

Dig Here! is a bunch of familiar elements — teenage girl best friends, missing treasure, a cranky aunt, and abandoned house, etc. — assembled in a way that didn’t feel familiar. I found myself wondering a lot whether this was the book Gladys Allen set out to write.

The main character, Sandy, is the daughter of missionaries. She’s sent to boarding school during the school year and to various relatives during the summers. When Dig Here! opens, she’s facing the prospect of spending the summer with Aunt Cal, who she’s never met, and who is related to her only by marriage. Aunt Cal says it’s okay for Sandy to bring a friend with her, so she invites her best friend, Eve, and it’s a good thing for her that she does. Eve is a much more forceful personality than Sandy is, and she’s also more adventurous, more sensible, and probably smarter. She’s even better at dealing with Aunt Cal, in part because she’s better at cooking and housework and, I don’t know, getting up on time than Sandy is.

This is one of the things that makes me unsure Allen knows what book she’s writing. Someone — maybe one of Sandy’s parents, in a letter? — talks about how sunny and sweet Sandy is, but all we actually see evidence of is Eve being better at everything. Towards the end you get a little more of a sense of Sandy as a person in her own right, but not much.

It’s an Augusta Huiell Seaman kind of setup. On their arrival at Aunt Cal’s the girls find that Sandy accidentally exchanged suitcases with a fellow bus passenger — a hair tonic salesman, judging by his luggage. A trip to exchange the suitcase for Sandy’s leads them to an old house, and hair tonic guy behaving suspiciously. Then the house turns out to be the one that Aunt Cal should have inherited from her uncle — and would have, if her shiftless cousin hadn’t hidden his will. There also may or may not be an emerald buried somewhere around the property. I’m not sure Eve and Sandy know which of these mysteries they’re investigating, but they investigate with a will, and with the help of cute farmboy Michael, and, eventually, the various hindrances provided by their school friend Hattie May and her brother Hamish. Hamish fancies himself as a detective.

I think what makes Dig Here! feel unusual is that books like these tend to have a very narrow focus. The kids solving the mystery are usually a small, tight-knit group. The crotchety relative exists to have their heart melted by the main character. You get your protagonist, his or her friends, whatever adults they live with, and maybe a villain. But in Dig Here!, everything’s part of a larger picture you don’t see. There are characters you never meet, like Sandy’s parents and Aunt Cal’s cousin. And the characters you do meet have stuff going on that the kids don’t know about. There are subplots that Sandy and Eve don’t find out about until the end, and then only as an afterthought. Aunt Cal is investigating on her own account, and doesn’t tell Sandy anything about it. And she doesn’t need to confide in Sandy — she’s not socially isolated, she’s got friends, and they probably know more about the mystery than Sandy does, too. It gives the book a different feel than you’d get from Seaman, or from any mystery where the kids hide what’s happening from the clueless grownups. And I enjoyed that.

The downside of the kids not having most of the story is that their side of the mystery isn’t that interesting, and the characters I enjoyed most were the ones Allen spent the least time on, but it was fun.I don’t think I need to seek out more books by Gladys Allen, but if I ended up reading another one, I wouldn’t be upset.


Tagged: 1930s, girls, gladys allen, mystery

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20. Do authors put in symbols and stuff?

Mette Ivie Harrison's tumblr post:

My teenage niece asked me about her high school English teacher who had been teaching her students to find symbols in novels and poetry. Since I am an author, she wanted to know if I really put that stuff in there on purpose or if her teacher (as she suspected) was making it up. It seemed hard to believe that it was real.

I told her that

1. It doesn’t matter if the author puts that stuff in on purpose. It can still be there. The work of the author is often to let the unconscious speak, and the author does not always control how the unconscious forms thoughts. Therefore, the author is often speaking for the culture rather than for one person.

2. Don’t ask the author what the book means. The author doesn’t know what the book means. That’s not the job of the author. The job of the author is to create. If an author says that a book means this or means that, do we take that as guaranteed? Of course not. If the author of a book insisted that there was no racism in it, but there is clearly racism in it, does the intention erase it? No.

3. The job of the critic is just as creative as the job of the author, and it is to find meaning where no one had seen it before. I talked a bit about Dadaism and how the point there was that anyone can be an artist, using ordinary kinds of text and image, and that the creativity was in bringing the same kind of vision to ordinary life as to that deemed “high art.”

4. Be kind to teachers of literature and writing. It’s a hard job and it’s an important one. I believe that art of every kind is important. As important as food. As important as shelter. I know not everyone agrees with me, but the ability to make life make sense matters a lot. Also, the way that we can change the world by first imagining the change in art is the way humans work. Why do you think that we landed on the moon after we imagined we did?

----------------------------

I agree with all that Mette says here. I will also add that like many writers, I am very thoughtful about the words I use and how I tell the story. I’ve had quoted to me ad nauseam the (apocryphal?) Robert Frost story about the woman who praised his poetry and told him all the deep meanings, allusions, and metaphors she found there, and he said that he didn’t put any of those things in on purpose. Many tell me this with the assumption that Frost just put down words and readers accidentally found meaning. But of course Frost was a thoughtful, careful poet. The fact that someone might make connections in his poetry that he didn’t intend doesn’t negate all the other thoughts he explored with purpose.

Readers can and should find their own meanings and truth in art, irrelevant to what authors intended. But that’s more likely to occur when authors take care, time, hones their skills, and reads widely.

1. Like Mette says, I don’t think that for readers, it should matter what the author’s intent was. Read and find what you need there. Study and learn what you can there.

2. For authors, I’d say write carefully, rewrite constantly, read and craft and learn and think and discover layer upon layer that you didn’t know would be there when you started out.

3. And thank you, English teachers! Careful analysis of texts taught me how to think, question, and find my own voice.

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21. SkADaMo 2014

Attention shoppers! It is now 9:00 and our store is closing.
9:00! Great Scott! The store is gonna close!
Santa can’t wait all night.
Come on up on Santa’s lap.
Get moving, kid. Quit dragging your feet.

santaeyeoutsanta
And what’s your name, little boy?
Hey, kid, hurry up, the store’s closing!
Listen, little boy, we got a lot of people waiting here, so get going!
What do you want for Christmas, little boy?
My mind had gone blank.
Frantically I tried to remember what it was I wanted.
I was blowing it, blowing it.
How about a nice football?
Football. What’s a football?
Without conscious will, my voice squeaked out:
Football.
Okay, get him out of here.
A football!    Oh, no. What was I doing?
Wake up, stupid, wake up!
I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot… range model air rifle.

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

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22.

Advanced copy arrived! 

Very excited for the March release. 






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23. Faster went the van, faster still, until, until, UNTIL ...

Mr. Man & The New Red Van written by Richard Forbes and published in 1963 by the Friday Press. Edgar Norfield provides the delightful illustrations using primary colours for extra impact.

While not written especially as a beginning-to-read book, the vocabulary is simple, and the few difficult words are repeated to give children practice.



Mister Man lives in a house with a dog, a cat and a small brown mouse. Now one wet day said Mister Man, "I think I will buy a new red van." A new red van, said the cat with a purr, "What fun we will have. It will make such a stir." "A van," growled the dog, "I like to walk."

The mouse had a cold, and could not talk. 

So Mister Man went into town with the cat, the dog and the mouse who was brown. 
The rain came down and the wind it blew. The cat grew cold, and the mouse did too.
"As you make such a fuss we will catch a bus. It will be dry inside, and we will have a nice ride."



The story follows Mister Man, the cat, the dog and the mouse into town and out into the countryside in their new red van.

The dog said, "Now we can go nice and fast," the van sped along. 

But the mouse was sad.
He knew it was bad, to speed when there is no need.


Faster went the van, faster still,
Until, until, UNTIL...

Out of the lorry got a great big man and he came across to the new red van.
And he said, "Am I Cross?"  "Yes, I am."

"It is wrong to go fast, do you see?"
"You'll be sorry you bumped into me."
And with that he gave an enormous sneeze
which blew the van right into the trees!

(This illustration reminds of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where the flying car ended up in the whomping willow!)

At the top of the tree stood a big black bird,
he stared at the van, and said, "MyWord"



Poor Mister Man!

His lovely new van, red paint chipped, a new lamp ripped - pushed out of a tree, 
Oh, my goodness me!

But the black bird and his friends were eager to help, and it wasn't long before Mr. Man, the dog, the cat and the small brown mouse were on their way. 


A scarce vintage book with a moral tale and beautiful illustrations.  


This and many other vintage story books can be found at March House Books.

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24. Sledding without a cell phone

Yesterday we went to Thanksgiving dinner at my wife’s parents’ house. There is, in their spacious backyard, a perfect hill for sledding. There was, in the garage, a perfect sheet of plastic to fashion into a toboggan. We slid and spun down the hill again and again, me and my pink-cheeked boy, until the sun set behind the distant trees.

It occurred to me many times that this experience was perfect for Facebook — to make a short video of the boy sliding and whooping his way downhill, or at least to transmit the important status: “Sledding with son on makeshift sled! #blessed.”

But when my cell phone broke two months ago, I didn’t bother replacing it. I canceled my service instead, sick of the way the phone made me less present in any moment. Out with my wife, at the park with my son, whatever. I’d check the phone every few minutes for nothing-that-important. Occasionally it’s inconvenient to not have the phone (calling the wife, for example, to remind me what exactly she’d asked me to pick up the store I am now wandering aimlessly through), but I don’t miss it much. I think it makes me less annoying to be phoneless. The shame I used to feel when seeing those thought-pieces about people and their smart phones as turned to smug self-satisfaction. “Don’t even have a cell phone, anymore,” I remember.

But does it really matter if I have a phone with me, if I am mentally framing the moment, crafting the image, composing the status? Thirty years ago Annie Dillard wrote of the “running description of the present,” that took place in her head on hikes, the “talking too much,” even when she was alone. I definitely know this feeling, though I wonder what genre these thoughts mimicked in the days before Twitter, what imaginary medium and audience gave shape to her interior monologue?

I still have the cell phone in the hand of my imagination. Even if I want to believe that my own shutter opened and the moment imprinted itself on the silver of my soul, I was actually composing a blog entry in my head about how such a thing happened, and applying the “Rockwell Filter” to my mental Instagram.

But that’s not completely fair to myself. Flying down the hill there was nothing but speed and cold and the squeals of a happy child. It was so perfect I have no memory of it — I didn’t jot one down in my mind for later.

Makeshift Sled

(Photo taken by my wife from the living room window.)


Filed under: Miscellaneous

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25. magpie

Magpie, drawn for Magpie That picture book blog.

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